FAIR Announces 2014 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ DC Radio Event. The 8th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row from Washington, DC will take place on April 9 and 10. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the broadcast event in which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border. FAIR reports, “This electronic town hall has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegal immigration and because of talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process. With legislation expected in spring in the House, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.” FAIR communications director Bob Dane adds, “We gather each year with a shared goal: To secure our borders and fight for principled immigration reform that puts American interests first. As usual, the wants and needs of Americans will be dismissed unless talk radio once again speaks on their behalf. Hoping that no one will notice, House Speaker John Boehner is planning to introduce the massive Senate amnesty bill in bits and pieces and massively increase foreign guest workers with no regard for unemployed Americans. Moreover, President Obama will continue abusing his executive power to grant backdoor amnesty. Both must be stopped.” This year’s event is taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now. There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.” Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.
Greenlee Named Chief Technical Officer at PodcastOne. Joining PodcastOne in the newly created position of chief technical officer is Rob Greenlee, who most recently served with Microsoft as podcast content platform manager. Greenlee will divide his time between Beverly Hills and Seattle and will report directly to CEO Norm Pattiz, who comments, “No one knows more about podcasts than Rob Greenlee. Having him join our company is a huge boost to our brand, the credibility of the company and the future growth of the platform. We’re all very excited about adding Rob to the executive team at PodcastOne.” Greenlee adds, “I am excited to be joining PodcastOne and being offered the opportunity to help Norm and the PodcastOne team build a great online entertainment brand that gives much value to audiences and advertisers. I see Norm Pattiz and PodcastOne’s entry into this space as a key catalyst to the recognition and respect this 10 year old medium deserves.” Greenlee spent seven years at Microsoft overseeing the video and audio podcasts platform at Xbox Live, Windows Phone and Zune, as well as managing the business, content partner relations and strategy around the podcasts platform service for Microsoft.
Reinoso Joins Fox News Radio to Produce Alan Colmes Program. Radio pro Albert Reinoso has been working with New York radio icon Alex Bennett since the latter was a part of the SiriusXM talk lineup. After Bennett parted ways with SiriusXM, Bennett and Reinoso began producing daily internet radio shows hosted by Bennett and Reinoso under the banner of Bennett’s Great American Broadcast Network. Now, Reinoso adds duties at Fox News Radio producing the nationally syndicated Alan Colmes program as well as some other programming. Reinoso tells TALKERS magazine he will continue to work with Bennett’s company and host his own “I Apologize” internet radio show while working for Fox. Reinoso’s program currently airs at 11:00 am ET, immediately following Bennett’s show which hits the internet at 10:00 am ET.
WEEI-FM, Boston Promotes Zarbano to Executive Producer. At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, producer Joe Zarbano is upped to executive producer for the station. Zarbano has been serving as producer for the evening show “Planet Mikey” hosted by Mike Adams and the midday “Mut and Merloni” program featuring Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni. Zarbano reports to WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham who says, “Since I arrived in Boston last fall, Joe has served as a valuable resource. He’s passionate about the product and is the ultimate team player. I’m thrilled he will continue in an expanded role as we move the WEEI brand forward throughout New England.”
Public Comment Period Opens on Nielsen’s LinkMeter Sale to comScore. When the deal for Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron was scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the stipulations was that Nielsen would have to preserve the development of the LinkMeter technology being developed by Arbitron in conjunction with comScore and ESPN. That technology seeks to measure use across multiple media such as radio, TV and internet. With Nielsen developing its own service to accomplish the same goal, the FTC was concerned about the acquisition leaving just Nielsen developing cross-media measurement. It was expected that Nielsen would arrange to sell the LinkMeter to comScore and that’s what’s happened. The FTC states that the proposed order requires Nielsen to sell and license, for at least eight years, certain assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform audience measurement services to an FTC-approved buyer. Accordingly, in its petition Nielsen is seeking FTC approval to divest the LinkMeter assets, license certain assets and capabilities, and provide equipment and services, to comScore. The petition details why Nielsen believes that comScore would be an appropriate party to acquire these assets. Public comments may be submitted to the FTC through February 24.
Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20. The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering. It will again be located at the extremely modern and conveniently located Concierge Conference Center in the heart of Midtown Manhattan’s colorful East Side. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’ It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.” Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card. Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249. As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected. Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead. For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.
Dave Ramsey Holds Down Afternoons at KSTE, Sacramento. Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey is now heard live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento. Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles states, “I love Dave and I know our audience will too. Anyone who can make our listeners smarter about their money is an important voice to hear in this turbulent economy.” Ramsey show VP for broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “Our fans in Sacramento have been asking for a place to listen and we are excited to be a part of the new lineup at KSTE. It’s a great station with an awesome team, we could not be more thrilled.”
Southwest Broadcasting Owner Lou Silverstein Dies at 87. The longtime owner of news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona passed away on January 18 after complications from pneumonia. He was a lifelong radio pro who worked in sales and management prior to buying KYCA in 1970 and later putting KAHM on the air. His obituary states he got his first radio job at KTUC, Tucson and did ad sales for KRIZ and KUPD before forming Southwest Broadcasting and buying KYCA. He was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Russ Withers Passes at 76. The Withers Broadcasting founder passed away at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Saturday from natural causes at age 76. Withers’ company owned 30 radio stations and six TV stations. NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton commented about him, “Russ Withers was a true original. He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf.”
Holiday 2013 PPM Data Released. The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio. The fourth and final round of PPM data for 12 markets including Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford are out and that information — along with Holiday 2013 PPM ratings for all 48 PPM markets — can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here. Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the fourth round of the Holiday PPM here.
Former WFSX-FM, Fort Myers Talk Personality Trey Radel to Resign from Congress. After a bust for cocaine possession that came to light in November of last year, Republican Florida Representative Trey Radel will announce his resignation from Congress today. Radel was a TV newsman who moved to radio as morning drive host at Sun Broadcasting news/talk station WFSX-FM, Fort Myers “92.5 Fox News” before running for the U.S. House in 2012. Radel completed a 30-day rehab stint for alcohol and drug dependency after the arrest and was prepared to forge ahead with his political career but the Associated Press reports that pressure from GOP leaders and a looming House Ethics Committee investigation forced Radel’s hand.
Odds & Sods. At Saturday evening’s Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Awards, CBS RADIO all-news KNX picked up six awards. The station won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Newscast Writing; Best Live Coverage of a News Story; Best Hard News Series Reporting; Best Light Feature Reporting; and Best News Special…..The nationally syndicated “Café Mocha” program announces that actress and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker joins the program as a special celebrity correspondent. Parker – currently starring in NBC TV’s “Revolution” – has been a guest host on the program hosted by comedienne/TV host Loni Love, rap legend MC Lyte and radio veteran Angelique Perrin.